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Suicide blast near Afghanistan airport in east kills 16, official says

Five people were also wounded when the bomber, who was on foot, detonated his explosives at the gate of a construction company in Jalalabad, an Afghan police chief said.

KABUL, Afghanistan—Militants in Afghanistan set off a suicide blast on Wednesday morning and stormed a construction company near the airport in Jalalabad, the capital of eastern Nangarhar province, killing at least 16 people, officials said.

The attack began with a suicide bomber, who was on foot and who detonated his explosives at the gate of the company called MQ, according to Gen. Ghulam Sanayee Stanikzai, the provincial police chief.

Stanikzai said several other attackers then stormed inside the company, triggering a gunbattle that drew U.S. forces to the scene.

"U.S. forces are supporting Afghan forces in securing the area now," Stanikzai said.

Five people were wounded in the attack, he added and cautioned that those were only initial reports as the shooting was still ongoing and the casualty toll could rise further.

Provincial governor's spokesman, Attahullah Khogyani, said at least four attackers have died so far, including the suicide bomber. There are more militants who are resisting and are engaging with the forces, he added.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack but both the Taliban and the Islamic State group are active in eastern Afghanistan, especially in Nangarhar province.